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Michelin gives 26 French restaurants top award
Two more French restaurants were accorded the coveted top award of three stars in the latest edition of the bible of gastronomy, the Michelin Guide.
Top French chef Yannick Alleno at Parisian restaurant Ledoyen and father-and-son team Rene and Maxime Meilleur at "La Bouitte" restaurant in the French Alps join the list of the world’s top chefs.
Rene and Maxime were awarded the industry's top prize for their "extraordinary" skills with local fish while Alleno was praised for "remarkable" technique with sauces.
The food Bible hailed the Alpine chalet restaurant, located at an altitude of 2,500 metres as "generous, authentic and full of emotion."
Delights on the menu include trout, scallops and crawfish, while meat eaters can tuck into frogs' legs with black garlic and watercress, duck foie gras escalope, sweetbreads and venison.
A three-course "surprise" menu will costs around 115 euros while an eight-course banquet weighs in at 225 euros.
"Ledoyen", near the Champs Elysees in Paris, retained its three-star status but with a new chef, the 46-year-old Alleno, at the pass.
Alleno, who already won three stars in 2007 for his work at Le Meurice in Paris, was cited for his skill with sauces.
He has perfected an "extraction" technique for sauces, resulting in an ultra-pure jus with an intense flavour said Michael Ellis, director of international guides for Michelin.
He singled out for special praise a souffle of smoked eel with a watercress
reduction and a brioche of pike with celery extract.
Meanwhile, some restaurants lost their three star badges.
The "Arnsbourg" in eastern France was relegated from three stars to two following the departure of chef Jean-Georges Klein.
And "La Cote Saint-Jacques", in central France, had a star removed due to a "lack of consistency in certain dishes."
The 2015 guide counts 26 three-star restaurants in France, one fewer than last year. Worldwide, there are 111.
There were 80 two-star restaurants (seven of which were new) and 503 one-star restaurants (37 of them making the grade for the first time).
In total, there are now 609 Michelin-starred restaurants in France.
The criterion for winning three stars is that the restaurant must serve up "exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey."
The new guide was unveiled at the French foreign ministry, which is determined to maintain the country's reputation for gastronomy and good food.